Monthly Archives: April 2018

12 May National Demo – searching for case-studies, and ramping up the mobilisation

The TUC are trying to identify people who are coming to the TUC’s national demonstration in London, 12 May, who have a good story to tell of why they are coming, and are willing to be used in local, or even national media work. The most effective use of these case-studies will be in press work with local papers and BBC county radio.

Examples would include:

  • Public sector workers, such as NHS workers, teachers, fire fighters, local government workers, civil servants, who have suffered under the 1 per cent pay cut year after year.
  • Families whose standard of living has constantly eroded.
  • Private sector workers who have not had a decent pay rise in years.
  • Workers who have suffered redundancy.
  • Workers whose employment is precarious, working in the gig economy, with no secure hours of employment – especially young workers.

So if there is a local trades council’s activist, or activists, that have a good story to tell and is willing to do this, please let me know their name, union, sector in which they work, phone number and email address.

And it is our experience that the local media where you are will be most responsive to local voices such as the trades council, especially if you have local case-studies to illustrate the story. So any volunteers for case-studies will give your trades council ‘traction’ with local media, as well as being useful for social media.

By the way, all you need to know about the arrangements for the national demonstration can be found at:

And if you are organising a coach please let me know, emailing and

Hope to see you, your comrades and your banner if you have one 12 May in London. If you cannot come to London, you can still join in by organising something locally, such as a photo opportunity or a stunt of some kind.

No More Bombing – Stop the Rush to War

This Saturday 21 April | 1-3pm
NUT, Hamilton House
Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9BD

Help get involved in the movement in London. This is a chance to analyse the situation and plan where we go from here. The mobilisation over the attack on Syria has opened up major new possibilities for the growth of the movement. Find out how you can be a part of organising in London.

Speakers will include:

  • Tariq Ali, writer and broadcaster
  • Lindsey German, Stop the War convenor
  • Kiri Tunks, President of the National Education Union (NUT Section)
  • Andrew Murray, chief-of-staff at Unite the Union

Other speakers tbc.


Trade unionists have always taken a position on the major moral and political questions of the day. We should oppose fracking because:

  1. Fracking worsens Climate Change: ‘Fracking’ is the extraction of natural gas (or oil) by injecting fluid at high pressure to fracture rock. Like all fossil fuels, this gas produces carbon dioxide (CO2) when burnt. CO2 is the single biggest contributing gas to global warming, which is threatening catastrophic climate change. Fracking has been suggested as a ‘cleaner’ alternative to coal, but recent studies on methane gas leaking from wells contradict this. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
  2. Fracking won’t create large numbers of permanent jobs: The jobs are likely to be short‑term specialised jobs, filled by existing staff already employed by the company rather than local jobs.Numbers are also over‑hyped.
  3. A report from Friends of the Earth, supported by the PCS trade union and North West trades councils, argued that a claim by gas company Cuadrilla that fracking would bring 1,700 jobs to the area was misleading as most would last for just one year. Fracking could lead to job losses in agriculture and tourism.
  4. Alternative energy strategies create more and longer lasting jobs: The Friends of the Earth report concluded “Renewable energy and energy efficiency… create over six times as many jobs as gas per unit of power generated or saved and around three times as many jobs for the same amount invested.”.
  5. Fracking will have a major impact on communities: A planning application for one well in North Yorkshire said drilling would create over 1,400 vehicle trips. This is disruptive, polluting and dangerous. Other impacts include an increase in earthquake risk, the disfiguring of local landscapes and reduced value of houses. The rich might be able to move, but it is much harder for workers and the poor to escape.
  6. Fracking can damage health: Fracking has been accompanied by claims of extensive local pollution to air, land and water sources. New York’s government banned fracking because it concluded fracking posed too great a risk to health. Over 500 academic papers warn of the risk to health from fracking.

Climate jobs—the alternative
Climate change is recognised by trade unions globally as an issue of social justice affecting poor
communities around the world.The One Million Climate Jobs report proposes a ‘National Climate Service’  to create public‑sector jobs in industries that reduce carbon emissions. Seven national trade unions and many union branches have signed up to this as an alternative that can create decent, well paid, safe jobs that tackle environmental destruction. Fracking is opposed by the NUT, PCS, BFAWU, EIS, TSSA and UCU unions. Fracking has been banned in Scotland, Ireland, Bulgaria and France and there are moratoriums in many other places including Wales, Netherlands and Germany.

Trade unionists have joined environmental activists and residents to oppose fracking because working class people should not be forced to work in the dirty, dangerous and unsustainable fossil fuel industry or suffer its effects in their communities. The alternative to unemployment, low pay and climate change is not fracking, but government investment in clean energy jobs. We encourage all workers to join an appropriate trade union If you are in a union, take our model motion to your union branch and local trades council. Join your local anti-fracking campaign. Join the Campaign Against Climate Change.

The Campaign against Climate Change brings people together to push for the urgent and resolute
action we need to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate.
Campaign Against
Climate Change
020 7833 9311


Thursday 26 April 2018
Please register: / 020 7467 1220

Guest Speakers Include:

* Dawn Butler MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

* Professor Mary Davis

* Margaret Greer, UNISON National Officer for Race Equality

* Taranjit Chana, GMB London Region

* Betty Joseph, Chair – LESE Race Relations Committee

* Peggy Ann-Fraser, Vice Chair – LESE Women’s Rights Committee

Big Union Campaign Day

Join Unison Gen Sec Dave Prentis and other trade union colleagues to campaign in the run up to vital council elections on May 3rd.

Your campaigning could make all the difference in May in turning Barnet Council red and delivering for working people.

You don’t need any experience of campaigning – just come along. There’s a way for everyone to get involved.

Facebook link here.

Ownership Matters: the democratic alternative to privatisation

The new report goes further than ever before in explaining how democratic public ownership can work in practice, and how the model can bring water, energy and rail back into public control.

The Co-operative Party’s approach is shaped by our co-operative values, with the emphasis on accountability and on ensuring that the voice of customers, staff and the taxpayer are at the heart of how these industries are run.
The report calls for:

  • Not-for-profit, regional water companies which are owned and run by trusts accountable to employees and consumers.
  • Rail services run by not-for-profit train service providers replacng train operating companies, and a new democratic ‘Guiding Mind’ for the railways to take over from Network Rail.
  • A new Energy Security Board, accountable to energy customers, employees and other stakeholders, and charged with securing the nation’s energy future; democratic regional distribution grids owned and run by consumer and employee trusts; a new generation of community-owned and co-operative renewable generation and energy supply; and a publicly-owned power generation company for large-scale generation.

Download here: ownership-matters-final-3mm

Irish History Month events in May 2018

London memorial to the Irish Famine (An Gorta Mor)

Sunday 13 May 2018, 1-2pm (outside TUC Congress House)

Sunday 13 May 2017 marked 170 years since the systematic number of deaths became more advanced during “An Gorta Mor” (Great Hunger) in Ireland.

There will be a commemoration outside TUC Congress at 1 pm with guest speakers. This area in the Parish of St. Giles was the first recorded “Little Ireland” in London from the end of the eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century. It was populated with Irish workers living in poverty and squalor. Many Irish people fled the Famine to this part of London and soon died of starvation as well as typhus. The failure of the potato crop began in 1845 and impacted heavily on the Irish population, as other crops had to be purchased for survival at a very high price or forfeited to their landlords. Hence, the starvation took effect in 1846. During the following year, it was the beginning of more than a million deaths as Britain refused to supply grain to the starving Irish population. By 1848 was the year of revolutions throughout Europe, 170 years ago, the deaths of Irish people were in a very advanced stage and there was an even an attempt at rebellion in Ireland. It is important that we commemorate “An Gorta Mor” (The Great Hunger) in London.


LESE RRC Irish History Event

Thursday 17 May 2018, 6.30pm, TUC Congress House

Guest Speaker: Mary Doolin, PCS, Senior Full-Time Officer, will be speaking on the history of Irish women in the British Trade Union movement. This year it will be 100 years since our first woman MP following the success of the Suffragettes, who achieved the Votes for Women.

It is also 130 years since the “Match Girls Strike” as teenage girls of Irish heritage achieved all their demands since they withdrew their labour for three weeks in 1888.


A walking tour in London: History of the Fenians in London

26th May 2018

We meet, roughly at 12 midday outside Russell Square tube station on Saturday 26th May, the date of which Michael Barrett was hanged 150 years ago. The tour will be conducted by Peter Middleton from the Wolfe Tone Society. The tour will include Clerkenwell Close where the prison explosions occurred in December 1867. We will finish at Newgate Prison where the last public hanging took place. Hopefully, the tour will be followed by a social.

Please register: / 020 7467 1220





Agenda for Monthly Meeting on 12th of April 2018

7pm at Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, Finchley

07:00 PM


Attendance and apologies

07:05 PM


Review minutes of previous meeting

07:05 PM


Matters Arising from the Minutes

07:15 PM


Guest speaker from Jewish Voice for Labour

07:45 PM


Planning and the development grant

08:00 PM


Industrial Reports

08:20 PM


Any Other Business and Delegates Motions

08:30 PM


Meeting Ends

Please submit other business to the secretary before 5pm on the 11th.


RMT holding a national protest against Driver Only Operation outside Parliament on Weds 25th April at 11.30 at Old Palace Yard, London, SW1P 3JY (Opposite the Palace of Westminster and in front of the George V statue).

The rally coincides with the 2nd anniversary of the start of RMT strike action on Southern against Driver Only Operation and in defence of keeping the guard on the train. Since the initial dispute began on Southern, RMT members on Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia, Scotrail  and South Western Railways have also taken strike action in opposition to the assault on jobs, safety, security and accessibility.

After the protest a meeting will be held in Houses of Parliament with a number of guest speakers. Further details will be posted at

The sheer grit and determination of our members to put public safety before private profit over the past two years is a credit to the trade union movement and the communities they are standing up for.

We will be demonstrating outside Parliament to show that we are as determined now as we were two years ago – when the first dispute started – to defend the role of the guard on the train and the basic principles of passenger safety and accessibility.

RMT has now successfully secured agreements in both Wales and Scotland that lock-in the guard guarantee and if it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety and the role of the guard centre stage then it should be good enough for the rest of Britain as well.

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